Economic Analysis of the 2014 Drought for California Agriculture

TitleEconomic Analysis of the 2014 Drought for California Agriculture
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHowitt, R., Medellín-Azuara J., MacEwan D., Lund J. R., & Sumner D.
Date Published07/2014
InstitutionUC Davis
Keywordsagriculture, drought
AbstractThis report updates estimates on the drought’s effects on Central Valley farm production, presents new data on the state’s coastal and southern farm areas, and forecasts the drought’s economic fallout through 2016.The study found that the drought -- the third most severe on record -- is responsible for the greatest water loss ever seen in California agriculture, with river water for Central Valley farms reduced by roughly one-third. Groundwater pumping is expected to replace most river water losses, with some areas more than doubling their pumping rate over the previous year. More than 80 percent of this replacement pumping occurs in the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin. The results highlight California agriculture's economic resilience and vulnerabilities to drought and underscore the state’s reliance on groundwater to cope with droughts.